In order to make good gravy, you need the right ratio of fats, flavor and “flour” or thickener.
In this recipe, and I use that term very loosely, I start by frying the breakfast sausage. Mine was very lean and didn’t give off very much fat, so I also used some butter. If you wanted, you could make this recipe with bacon and its fat.
Almost any fat will work in this recipe; I wouldn’t try coconut oil, and the same with any very strong taste or smelling oil, (nut oils) that wouldn’t enhance your gravy and this is all personal. I mean, if you wanted a sweet tropical gravy to go over a sweet potato biscuit, then coconut, or hazelnut oil might be a perfect choice. Just saying.
I chose sausage gravy, then the next step is the thickener. The classic choice in this recipe is flour because you start with a rue, (fat and butter mixture that is browned for Creole cooking). This too is optional, if you are gluten intolerant, then corn or rice starch might be a better choice, and you will handle the thickening differently. For a rue, you cook the fat and butter to reduce the taste of the raw flour, and the longer you cook this pair, the nuttier, richer and complex it becomes. Unless you pre-cook the rice or cornstarch, it will just thicken and adds little if any extra flavor, but we must have options.
Then after cooking the rue to the correct darkness, mine was just a blonde, platinum at that, I added in the flavoring, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper, mixed that all together.
The last step is to add the liquid. I used whole milk, this time, sometimes half & half or heavy cream makes the cut. But, in this, you have some options, like some chicken, beef or veggie stock. Mushroom stock and some buttermilk with sautéed mushrooms sound like a great addition.
The secret to smooth gravy is to add the liquid slowly and whisk thoroughly, start with small amounts until you get a smooth paste-like texture, then add more and whisk again, until the gravy is just how you like it.
So the “Recipe”:
- 1 pound breakfast sausage, brown in heavy skillet keeping 2 T fat.
- 2 tablespoons flour, cook for a couple of minutes. The flour should not be dry, it should absorb the fat, but it shouldn’t be soupy either.
- Add flavoring of choice, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper
- Add about 2 cups of whole milk starting with 1/4 cup and whisk then another 1/4 cup whisk till smooth, then the rest.
- Cook on medium-low heat, just bubbling till thick.
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I’m a wife, mother, pastry chef and amatuer gardner. I travel as much as possible, can what I grow, and taste as many new things as possible.